Helping library teams to understand…

I quickly realised that there was an urgent need to get our library teams on board with the Cook2Learn project, so they had an understanding of why the project was relevant to libraries, what it was all about and would be able to promote it when the time came. I had a 10 minute slot booked at a libraries’ meeting to explain the project to Library Supervisors and I had also recently discovered the delights of using infographics from Piktochart. Using an infographic seemed a much better visual way of explaining the project and would give Supervisors something to hand on to their teams.

Here’s the infographic I created. I think if I was doing it again now, it would maybe be slightly different as, due to the Carnegie Library Lab online learning, I am quickly becoming a convert to Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with the Why’ – but more of that later.



Manchester Partners’ Meeting

Our Library Lab journeys kicked off in May with a couple of inspirational days at the fantastic Manchester Central Library. It allowed us some time to meet and get to know each other a little, find out about the learning programme, have an initial meeting with our mentors and have a tour of Manchester Central Library.

Fellow partner Harriet Hopkins has written an excellent blog post on the Manchester meeting for the Carnegie Blog.

Neil MacInnes, Head of Libraries, Information and Archives at Manchester and current President of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL)  gave us a tour of Manchester Central Library and a presentation about the transformation of  the main library and the innovative renewal programme of Manchester Libraries.


L to R Partners and projects cohort 2 of the Carnegie Library Lab programme:

  • Caroline Mackie, Library Manager, Herne Hill Library – Skills training in IT & coding
  • Naomi Kenny, Librarian, Bonnybridge Library – History in Action
  • Natassia Reilly, Branch Manager, Dungiven and Limavady Libraries – A Sense of Place
  • Frances Tout, Community Librarian, North Somerset Libraries – Cook2Learn
  • Joanne Cousins, Senior Supervisor of Resources, Exeter Library – Adopt a Book
  • Harriet Hopkins, Manager, Pyle Library – Art In-formation

Andy Wright, Libraries Manager, Wakefield Libraries is working with me as my mentor. Andy has recently completed a six month secondment for SCL as Public Libraries Project Lead with The Wellcome Trust. Andy has a particular interest in the relationship between libraries and health, so with his experience and knowledge he is an ideal mentor for me and my project.

It started here…

In January this year I sent off my application for the second round of the Carnegie Library Lab programme, which is designed to support and develop innovation and leadership in the public library sector across the UK and Ireland.

My idea, Cook2Learn, was inspired by the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center, which I visited on my Travelling Librarian study tour last year.  The Cook2Learn project proposal was to improve healthier food and lifestyle choices and increase confidence in numeracy and literacy skills of adults through learning about food and food preparation. I would be working with council partners (health trainers, Public Health and the Community Learning team), alongside library staff and volunteers to deliver workshops and short courses in libraries across North Somerset.

After a few weeks I was delighted to receive a call from Jenny Peachey at the Carnegie UK Trust to tell me that I had been selected as a Carnegie Partner.